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2. The Political Beau is of a more harmless description; though he is equally vehement and positive with the literary one. He levels his attacks against the operations of the enemy, who do not perhaps quite so inuch dread his censures, as does the ministry at home, which he is in the constant habit of abusing. I have known these political beaux declaim an hour upon the blunders of the allies, showing how Buonaparte ought to have been taken prisoner as well as defeated.
3. The Devout Beau I would designate as the gentleman who goes to church to save appearances, and thereby to obtain the reputation of a loyal, rational sort of a being. He uses his eye-glass more than his prayer-book, and smirks during the sermon, because he would not have it supposed that the preacher's admonitions can affect a man of his refined stamp. He is the first to sally out of church when the service is concluded, because his time is precious, and he is apprehensive the weather may change to rain before he shall have galloped twelve times up and down the park. Gentlemen of this description sometimes begrudge the yearly sum of a guinea for a seat in a pew, though they are never failing subscribers to Almack's, and the most magnificent patrons of French dancers, German quacks, and Italian quaverers.
4. The Operatical Beau is constantly seen at the King's Theatre, on the evening preceding the Sabbath --but never on a Tuesday, unless Ambrogetti or Bellocchi should happen to appear in a new character. He sometimes condescends to pay a visit to the pit; and after nttering one · Bravo !' at the orchestra railing, returns through the allée, and joins some solitary dowager or enraptured miss in the fifth tier of boxes. When this intellectual treat is over, he retires, agreeable to invitation, to a snug supper coterie of twenty-five; and, just as the Sabbath dawns, reaches his home and his bed. He is probably prevented sleeping, by the sound of the first church bells" And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two, and sleeps again."
5. The Theatrical Beau is seen more frequently be
hind than within the boxes; and generally prefers the conversation of others to that of his own party.
He can just endure to hear Kemble deliver a soliloquy, or Kean utter a sarcasm, but to sit a whole play through, is an effort beyond the strength of his faculties to bear. Few beings are more restless than these theatrical beaux; and, what may be thought rather strange, if they reach their homes without a quarrel and its consequences, they are still more tortured than if they had been patient spectators of the entire play.
6. The Dashing Beau is a gentleman who deals in all sorts of carriages, horses, and dogs: to-day he is mounted aloft, to-morrow he is sunk below. It is of no consequence to him whether the vehicle which conveys him be square, or round, or oblong; or whether his companions be grooms or dogs.
• He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain;" and, in a fearless, thoughtless mood, drires from one street to another, turning every corner with due angular precision--and darts through a county, before a sober traveller in his chaise and pair has changed his first horses. This Beau is a great disturber of your sober watchmen and poor old barrow-women, whom he is sure to dislodge from their quiet corners.
I have often remarked, that young gentlemen of this description are, in general, good-natured, pleasan facetious sort of human beings; and have as often lamented that such a career, commenced in pure folly, should have terminated in nothing better than the possession of a few guineas for the sale of the last dog and gun—which a gaming debt, incurred the preceding evening, has instantly swept away! When I see these dashing beaux, skimming, like summer swallows, along life's surface, I only hope that they have neither mothers' nor sisters~ one can bear to see folly severely chastised, but who can bear to see a heart of sensibility and virtue cut in twain !
7. The Jolly Beau is a gentleman who frequents.
taverns and coffee-houses, and is emphatically known as a lover of good eating and drinking. It would astonish a rational man, who is accustomed to dine in a quiet way with his family, at a table illuminated by two good mould candles, to see one of these jolly beaux sitting down by himself, at seven o'clock in the evening, to dinner, barricadoed by four thick wax candles, and hemmed in by a bottle of each, fish sauces, and six smoking covers! What a brilliant triumph must that be, where the only spectators are a grinning waiter and a waggish butler! To be sure, there is a consolation in reflecting that some one knows how one's money goes.
8. The Dressy Beau is a gentleman of measured step, swinging gait, bright boots, trimmed whiskers, and composed features; this is his morning costume. In the evening, he puts on a thinner dress because it is colder; the tip of his handkerchief hangs out of his pocket, and under his arm is preserved, with the same care that a mother protects her infant, a thin, semicircular, elongated, black, beaver ornament, projecting about six inches beyond each side of the profile of the body. This is meant for a hat, but is rarely used as such: or, when it assumes its natural character, has an appearance as monstrous and grotesque as any part of the dress of a gentleman of the Sandwich or Friendly Islands. The dressy beau is a harmless animal; he rarely bites-or, when he does, the bite is not attended with the same pain as is that of the literary or political beau.
9. The Old Beau. We come now to the ninth and last class, into which the modern beau has been divided. This gentleman is instantly recognised as well by his faded looks as by his dirty finery, and affected sprightliness. The aged beau is the most incorrigible of his species; he has become old in crime, and infirm from debauchery. Tottering from one rendezvous to another, he makes an effort (like the sun gleaming through the purple clouds of evening—though the simile is much too good for him) to shine with his wonted splendour, and congratulates himself that he still succeeds. He enters into all the wild schemes of youth, but executes them
with the indecision of age : he meets with contempt, where he expected applause. His heart, however, still beats at the call of pleasure-his pulse still flutters at: the prospect of some novel gratification-but he dies ere it be realized he is stretched in his grave ere his morrow of happiness arrive! No sculptured Bible decorates his tomb; no flattering epitaph not even a stone marks where his ashes rest
“ Alive, ridiculous; and dead, forgot."
1. The Sprightly Belle has an incessant flow of spirits; and whether in the park, at an assembly, or a rout, still runs on in the same lively and enviable strain of conversation. Her features are never saddened with melancholy: the funeral of a statesman, or the concert of a duchess, equally witness the smiling complacency of her countenance. Whether she springs into her carriage, or parades out of church, a skilful observer may discover that at heart she is all whim, humour, and glee. Ladies of this description are in general harmless: the only mischief they produce is to themselves; for, as years roll on, and infirmity advances, they find upon reflection, that a few hours devoted in their former days to reading and meditation would have made them much more sprightly at sixty, than does a retrospect of their gaieties and amusements.
2. The Funny Belle is, in my grave estimation, a very troublesome sort of creature; and I confess if I were a bachelor and disposed to change my state for that of a Benedick, I should almost choose any belle but a funny
Ladies of this description go much beyond the sprightly belles in their absurdities; and I have known some very modest young men, well charged with the classical wisdom of a college, absolutely looked and talked out of countenance by one of this loquacious and
facetious tribe. If, during the impressive warbling of Miss Stephens, or the pathetic tones of Miss O'Neill, you should hear a tittering or a loud laugh in the boxes, depend upon it the interruption proceeds from a funny belle. The only thing “ devoutly to be wished" is, that ladies of this stamp would oblige the sober part of the public by communicating only to their dressing and waiting-maids all the funny things they have to say. It too often happens, that the perpetration of a little mischief mingles in the reflections of these funny creatures --and when the happiness of a family is completely destroyed, it is, to be sure, a very
comfortable compensation to be told, that " nothing serious was meant."
3. The Witty Belle is grave in the morning, but facetious in the evening; because, during the former part of the day, she is treasuring up a quantity of bon-mots, mixed with a few sarcasms - and puns. When all her artillery of wit is played off at once, it is absolutely stunning; and reminds one, " if small things may with 'great compare,” of the roar of cannon and Hasli of red hot shot and mortars, on the memorable sortie from Gibraltar. The worst of it is, that, with these ladies, wit is mistaken for wisdom; and a cutting retort is considered more creditable than a grave and sensible remark. I dined the other day with a young Templar, who had invited, along with his relations, two or three of these witty belles to meet me. On my right hand sat a pleasant and well-informed lady, to whom I was anxious to show every attention, for she had read and travelled much to the purpose; but all in vain-these witty ladies laughed and talķed, and at length disagreed so lustily, that I thought it prudent to make my retreat, urging that I wished to attend an evening lecture at the Royal Institution by Dr. Crotch. I confess there was more harmony in this latter place than at the table of my friend the Templar. Wit is a dangerous weapon to manage in the hands of a man, but it is much more so in those of a woman. It may be rationally doubted, whether a purely witty creature ever secured a bosom friend: admiration and occasional fear are not the ingredients of